FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Dr. Chaim Goodman-Strauss of the University of Arkansas was awarded the first place Rosenthal Prize for Innovation and Inspiration in Math Teaching from the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath).

The National Museum of Mathematics is the only Math Museum in North America and the Rosenthal Prize for Innovation and Inspiration in Math Teaching is an annual award, according to a press release. This year, the museum gave out cash awards for first, second and third place as well as an honorable mention.

Each year, MoMath’s Rosenthal Prize competition recognizes some of the most innovative math educators from around the world. Never has the need to celebrate educators been more important than during the ongoing pandemic, which has created so many challenges for students, families, and teachers. We hope that these compelling, creative lesson plans, which the Museum makes available as part of a free online resource, will help educators engage students with the joy and beauty of math, whether remotely or in person.

Cindy Lawrence, CEO and Executive Director of MoMath.

Each winning educator will also be featured in MoMath’s free online archive of Rosenthal Prize-winning instructional activities.

“This educational resource is aimed at providing teachers with a library of outstanding, wide-ranging, interactive lesson plans that can help bolster classroom creativity and student engagement, in particular during the ongoing pandemic,” the release noted.

Dr. Goodman-Strauss, a professor of mathematics at the University of Arkansas, created the winning activity and was awarded a $25,000 cash prize. His lesson on symmetry, “Tooti Tooti (2222),” was chosen from more than 100 submissions worldwide. He hails from Fayetteville, AR.

His winning lesson teaches students about symmetry by creating “tiles” with four different points of two-fold rotational symmetry (i.e., the patterns remain the same as you rotate them 180 degrees) and piecing the tiles together into patterns that can fill an infinite space, similar to wallpaper patterns.

More information about submitting applications for the 2022 Rosenthal Prize for Innovation and Inspiration in Math Teaching and the full archive of past winners’ lessons plans can be found at rosenthal.momath.org.